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and exquisite enjoyment even of sensual pleasure. They prolong life to the utmost term of nature, and contribute to a peaceful and easy death.
3. An addictedness to sensual pleasure blunts the faculties of the mind, being injurious to mental apprehension, and all the finer feelings of the soul, and conse-, quently deprives a man of a great many sources of pleasures which he might otherwise enjoy, and particularly of thať most valuable complacency which he might have in his own difpofitions and conduct; from a proper and temperate use of the good things of life.
4. Sensual indulgences, though, to a certain degree, and in certain circumstances, they seem to promote benevolence, are evidently unfriendly to it when carried beyond that degree ; for though moderate eating and drinking in company promotes chearfulness, and good humour, excess frequently gives occafion to quar
relling and contention, and sometimes even to murder.
Also, when a man makes the indulgence of his appetities his primary pursuit, besides incapacitating himself for the service of mankind in any important respect, he will scruple no means, however base, cruel, or unjust, to procure himfelf his favourite pleasures, which he conceives to be in a manner necessary to his being.
5. With respect to the bulk of mankind, whose circumstances in life are low, the sole pursuit of sensual pleasure is exceedingly injurious to that industry which is necessary to their support. Indeed, it is often sufficient to diffipate the most ample fortune, and reduce men from afluence to poverty, which, in such circumstances, they are least able to struggle with.
It is impossible that we should not condemn a disposition and pursuit so circumstanced as this. An addictedness to sensual pleasures is manifestly incompatible with
our own true intereft, it is injurious to others, and, on both these accounts, must be contrary to the will of God. The vices of gluttony, drunkenness, and lewdness are also, clearly contrary to the natural dictates of our minds, and every man who is guilty of them, feels himself to be despicable and criminal, both in his own eyes, and those of others.
The only rule with respect to our diet, is to prefer those kinds, and that quantity of food, which most conduces to the health and vigour of our bodies, Whatever in eating or drinking is inconsistent with, and obstructs this end, is wrong, and should carefully be avoided; and every man's own experience, affifted with a little information from others, will be sufficent to inform him what is nearly the best for himself in both those respects ; so that no person is likely to injure himself much through mere mistake.
With respect to those appetites that are subfervient to the propagation of the fpecies, I would observe, that the experience of ages testifies, that marriage, at a proper time of life, whereby one man is confined to one woman, is most favourable to health and the true enjoyment of life. It is a means of raising the greatest number of healthy children, and makes the best provision for their instruction and settlement in life ;, and nothing more need be said to shew that this state of life has every character of what is right, and what ought to be adopted, in preference to every other mode of indulging our natural passions.
Marriage is, moreover, of excellent use as a means of transferring our affections from ourselves to others. We fee, not in extraordinary cases, but generally, in common life, that a man even prefers the happiness of his wife and children to his own; and his regard for them is frequent ly a motive to such industry, and such an exertion of his powers, as would make him exceedingly unhappy, if it were not for the consideration of the benefit that accrues to them from it. Nay, in many cases, we fee men risking their lives, and even rushing on certain death, in their defence. The fame, also, is generally the attachment of wives to their husbands, and sometimes, but not fo generally, the attachment of children to their parents.
We may add, that when once a man's affections have been transferred from him. self to others, even his wife and children, they are more easily extended to other persons, still more remote from him, and that, by this means, he is in the way of acquiring a principle of general benevolence, patriotism, and public spirit, which persons who live to be old without ever marrying are not so generally remarkable for. The attention of thefe persons having been long confined to themselves, they. often grow more and more selfish and narrow spirited, so as to be actuated in all